Saturday, February 15, 2014

Insight - The Olympic Dream - By Michelle Libby

Who doesn’t love the Olympics? What’s not to love? National pride, athletics at its best, the world pausing to watch and Mother Nature providing challenging conditions for the athletes, it’s the melting pot for world peace. 
Be it the winter or summer games, I love to watch people compete for gold for themselves and their countries. I love to cheer for Mainers first, Americans second, Canadians third and then whoever sounds appealing after that. I also root for Lithuania because of my heritage, though they only have a handful of athletes. 

What can we learn from the Olympics? 

1.      Pack for all weather, even in the winter. At some of the finish lines it’s 50 degrees and I can tell you that 50 would feel pretty balmy after the -5 this morning in Windham.
2.      Cheer for someone. The games are much better if you have someone to root for, even if it’s not an American.
3.      Share the Olympics with your children and tell them about how much work and dedication it takes for the athletes to compete at that level. (As an aside. I spoke to a parent at a swim meet recently and asked how far off our best swimmers are from Olympic times. He laughed and said minutes. That’s a long time when the difference between first and second places can be one-one hundredths of a second.) So we think our high school athletes are fast…
4.      Build memories for your family around the Olympic Games. The Summer Olympics in 1996 was the year my daughter was born and I used to watch some of the more obscure events at 2 a.m. while feeding her. Twelve years ago, I watched the opening ceremonies with a group of my friends at my surprise birthday party. You can’t all be as lucky as me to have opening ceremonies on your birthday or have an infant to keep you company, but that doesn’t mean you can’t build a bobsled run using tubes instead of a BMW custom built sled. Or have times races on a frozen pond.

The Olympics only last two weeks, so don’t miss out on the fun or the history of the games. Like the trivia question…which is the first nation to lead the parade of nations at the opening ceremony? 

I have yet to make it to an Olympic event, but I can wait and I’m sure someday I’ll get there. 

Go America!

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